RACETRACK TRAGEDY: Volunteer Killed By Flying Debris

Richard Welch, 45, was hit in the head with a piece of flying debris after a crash at the State Fairgrounds Speedway Friday night.

Welch, a man of few words, loved to talk cars. For 26 years worked at Watters Autoland in Indianola.

“He was just constantly going; always doing something. You never had to tell him do anything. He`d just see something that needed fixed and or repaired or needed done, he did it,” says owner, Jerry Watters.

Watters choked up as he called him an irreplaceable employee. His racing friends feel the same way. Morgan Nelson referred to him as the “backbone” of the Warren County Speedway.

She says he volunteered to build and maintain tracts at 4 local speedways, including the track at the fairgrounds.

“He just always loved hearing from the drivers afterwards that it was a great track and it was fast and it was smooth. That`s all he wanted to hear. He just wanted to make the drivers happy,” says Nelson.

Welch served as a racing official at Friday night’s race when he was killed.

DNS racing promoter, Darin Nelson, explains officials stand amongst cars traveling close to 80 mph potentially putting them in danger. He says Friday’s accident will spur questions to officials about additional safety measures tracks may have to take.

“You can have all the safety factors in the world but something always can slip through the crack it seems like.”

Welch lived in Winterset and was not married. The warren county speedway is planning a memorial at the racetrack in the coming days.

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